The Eastern European nations encourage serious financial difficulties. Their success had rested in part on captial borrowed form teh west. By 1980 those debts weighed heavily on their natial economies. Poland's hard-currency indebtedness to Western Centuries, for example was almost four times greater than its annual exports. The Solution to this problem, attempted in Poland and elsewhere, ws to cut back on production fo rdomestic consumption in order to increase exports. Yet this policy encountered strong, popular oppositions. Although there was virtually no unemployment in Eastern Europe, men and women were by no means happy with their economic status. Working hours were longer then in Western Europ, and goods and services, even in prosperous times, were scarce.
Western Governments struggled for effective reactions to the abrupt change in their economic circumstances the new leader of the Britsih Conservative Party, Margaret Thatcher, was Elected Prime minister in 1979-and reelected in 1983 and 1987-on a program of curbing trade-union power, cutting taxes to stimulate the economy, and privatizing publicly owned enterprises. The economy, remained week, with close to 15%of the workforce unemployed by 1986. In West Germany, a series of Social Democratics government attmepted to combat economic recession with job-training programs and tax incentives, both financed by higher taxes. These programs did little to assist economic recovery, and country shifted to the right.